Legacy of the past: The Transparent Man
Maybe it’s hard to imagine nowadays, but in the past, dissections of the body on behalf of science were total taboos. Both cultural and historical. The “Transparent Man” or in German the “Gläserner Mensch” offered an alternative way of gaining knowledge of the interior of the human body.
Under the transparent plastic skin of this life-size body, a light metal mould of a human skeleton is found, together with artificial internal organs and the arterial, venous and lymphatic systems. All of them coloured and accurately shaped and arranged. "The Transparent Man" anatomy model revolutionized self-perception. The transparent model of a human body has been on display in the German Hygiene Museum in Dresden since 1930.
Sections from Klaus Vogel’s, The transparent man – some comments on the history of a symbol:
“Tschakert managed to obtain a human skeleton that he endowed, under the eyes of inquisitive neighbouring children and with the help of some wires and supports, with an erect stature. Next, the skeleton had to be given a human appearance.”
“The inner organs were derived from wax models in a nearby school where the director was a friend of Tschakert's.”
“Finally, the system of blood vessels was represented in red for arteries and blue for veins, and supplemented by the principal nerves, portrayed in green.”
Want to know more about the history of this symbol? The full version of Klaus Vogel’s book-section can be read here!